The first independent ad put out by the Republican party is strikingly dishonest. It’s attacking Obama’s positions on climate change, using the new nickname “Dr. No.” The problem is that climate change is an issue where Obama’s position clearly does more than McCain’s–that’s not something that’s really up for debate: both candidates have cap and trade as the centerpiece of their efforts, but Obama’s climate change proposals involve more ambitious caps for emissions. One of the policies mentioned in the ad, lowering gas taxes, could only help to increase emissions.
The only thing that might favor McCain is his proposal for a $300 million prize for better battery technology to be used in hyrbids. Obama has said we would not favor such a policy. However, if the prize is a good idea (and I’m not sure whether it is or not), it’s primarily a good idea because it’s cheap–the emissions reductions that could be achieved by any battery technology would be a lot smaller than what we want. So it’s, at best, a way to spur innovation, and reduce the economic cost of a cap-and-trade program.